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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  March 13, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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[ cheers and applause ] he is an unexpected choice and an historic one. cardinal jorge mario bergoglio, now pope francis, is the first jesuit pontiff and the first pope from latin america where 40% of the world's catholics live. >> it was a great recognition by the church that it's not eurocentric anymore. >> reporter: the announcement came at the end of a long rainy day. thousands of people huddled under umbrellas in st. peter's square looking up at the chimney on the roof of the sistine chapel. the morning brought black smoke. the tension of the afternoon broken by seagulls who took turn sitting on the chimney long enough to trend on twitter. [ cheers and applause ] then just after 7:00 here, the sight the world waited for. igniting an hour-long celebration. ♪ >> habemus papum. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: when his name was
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announced -- >> bergoglio. >> reporter: there was an audible gasp in the square, a sense of confusion. bergoglio wasn't one of the cardinals that had captured rome's attention. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> reporter: the humble argentine led the people in prayer. then asked the crowd of more than 100,000 to silently pray for him. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> reporter: pope francis is the choice of cardinals said to be divided into two factions -- reformers who want a clean up the vatican's dysfunctional bureaucracy and focus on bringing new energy to this global institution, and the old guard who want to maintain the status quo. >> i think he does belong in the reformer category. i think he picks up the mantle of john paul ii.
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i think he is someone of the new evangelization. >> reporter: a new leader charged with steering the church through a crucial moment in history. now we understand from new york's cardinal, timothy dolan that tomorrow pope francis will go visit benedict, pope emeritus. and then next tuesday pope francis will celebrate his first mass here at st. peter's. tuesday is the feast of st. joseph, the patron saint of the universal church. brian? >> you said two striking things during our live coverage earlier today. that was how silent it got when he asked for silence, and what it was like as he read the prayer, as he led the group in prayer and everyone in the square followed along. >> reporter: it was. the prayers he said, and he said them in italian, were our father, the hail mary and the glory be. you had more than 100,000 people all joining in in those three prayers. then the pope asked for a silent prayer for himself.
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and suddenly all these people went quiet. the only thing i could hear around me were the camera shutters going off. but everybody -- it was an incredibly reverential moment that brought people from many countries together in support of this man -- this 76-year-old man who is now the 266th pontiff of the catholic church. brian? >> anne thompson had a great perspective today at the vatican starting off our coverage. anne, thanks. beyond the vatican, perhaps nowhere is there more joy tonight than in argentina. there was cheering for francis in the streets of buenos aires. he became a priest in his 30s and, according to his biographer, led a lifestyle that was, quote, sober and austere. lester holt also at the vatican tonight with more on the new pope. lester, good evening. >> reporter: hello, brian. be many accounts a quiet man, a simple man.
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his biographer said he's a little media shy. but after stepping onto the papal loggia tonight, the world is clamoring to hear more from and about pope francis. when the cardinals filed into the sistine chapel tuesday he was regarded as a long shot at best. at 76 jorge bergoglio was thought by some to be too old. if his name was unfamiliar and caught most gathered on st. peter's square by surprise, there was unabashed joy in buenos aires tonight. jorge mario bergoglio is an argentine-born son of italian immigrants, one of five children. he lost a lung to an infection when he was a teenager, but went on to become a priest in 1969. he joined the jesuit order, embracing an austere lifestyle. even as a cardinal and archbishop of buenos aires he shunned the privileges and trappings that usually come with the job. >> he took the tram to work. he lived in a small apartment rather than in the archbishop's palace.
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he's not a man of a lot of fuss, pomp and circumstances. >> reporter: in 2005 bergoglio was runner-up behind joseph ratzinger to replace the late pope john paul ii. he's regarded as a strong defender of catholic doctrine, described by his biographer as a balancing force, he earned a reputation in argentina as a fierce advocate for the poor. >> this is a man of god, a man of the new evangelization. a man who is a great defender of democracy in a country where democracy is under real stress right now in argentina. >> reporter: tonight, choosing to become pope francis, he takes the name of 13th century preacher saint francis assisi who lived a life of poverty. no surprise to those who know him. >> you can see the humility of the man. you can see the calm of the man. i can tell you, i know the strength of the man and the
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compassion of the man. >> reporter: his election sparked excitement in latin america both out of cultural pride and the recognition of the growing importance and influence of that part of the world. >> bergoglio brings latin america to rome and to the world. >> reporter: his papacy is expected to reflect his sense of strong social justice. he's also expected to bring along a strong management style. >> lester holt, part of our team at the vatican as well. lester, thanks for that. we want to bring back in a man we just saw, our nbc vatican analyst george weigel. journalist, papal biographer. he's provided analysis throughout the day. george, i have been quoting your phrase that this is a hingepoint for the catholic church. just yesterday word of the $10 million settlement in l.a. lives have been ruined at the hands of parish priests across our country.
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this man who bridges two eras. do you think he's the right figure at age 76 for this hingepoint? >> he is, brian. this is a man who has been a reformer his whole life. i think he will take in hand the reform of the roman curiae. his own simplicity, austerity, and gentleness, i think, will make him a man who can put the church on the road to a new evangelization in the future. this is not an institutional maintenance guy. he comes from a country where the church has had to learn how to be missionary again. i think he wants the entire church to learn from that experience. >> we came close, had real discussions of the first ever african, the first ever american. this is the first ever noneuropean. so certainly this is a history making choice. and personality, as we saw with john paul ii, means a lot. he appears to have instant warmth with the people there today. >> he is a very, very warm gentleman. i spent an hour with him in
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buenos aires last may. i was touched by his intelligence. by his manifestly deep interior life, his spiritual life. got a very clear-eyed view of the troubled politics of his own country. and he's been through a lot of sorrow in his own life. so i think this is a man who brings a full package of pastoral skills to the office of peter. i think the world is going to get to love this man very quickly. >> our veteran journalist and vatican analyst tonight. george weigel from the vatican tonight. george, our thanks. this first ever latin american pope is is a nod to a huge and growing power center in the church. hispanics, after all, make up about 40% of all catholics around the globe. there was, as we said, happiness throughout the region following the announcement today. nbc's miguel almaguer is in rio
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for us tonight. >> reporter: brian, good evening. we have been here in rio de janeiro for the last several days where there was anticipation. tonight there is joy, excitement, pride and in some places in latin america, tears in the streets. catholocism is a way of life. four of every ten catholics lives right here in this region from mexico city here to rio to buenos aires. many of the faithful believe they will have a larger voice in the church. catholics believe the pope will pay special attention to the poor. the pope has been called by some the pope of the people because of his simple way of life. in latin america they have waited 20 centuries for a pope to come from this region. tonight they are certainly celebrating in the streets saying this was well worth the wait. brian? >> miguel almaguer in rio for us tonight. thanks. we'll take a break. we're back with more of our coverage including reaction from across this country at a very tricky time for the church facing several scandals here at home.
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♪ from washington to the vatican president obama sent warm wishes to the new pope, praised his work with the poor and said he looks forward to working with him to advance peace and security and the dignity of people regardless of faith. vice president joe biden will lead the u.s. delegation to the
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pope's installation on tuesday. a quarter of americans are roman catholic and given the fact that scandal generated most of the headlines in the church in this country for years now this is a sensitive time for catholics. nbc's john yang is outside holy name cathedral in chicago for us tonight. hey, john. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. tonight the americans -- 78 million catholics in america are hopeful that this new pope can lead the church in a new direction -- out of scandal and mismanagement. u.s. catholics greeted the election of pope francis i with bells and in new york's st. patrick's cathedral, applause. at our lady of angels in los angeles the announcement was made in english and spanish.
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this latin american pope could help reach out to u.s. hispanics. 54% of whom identified as catholic in a recent gallup poll. >> latinos in the united states feel extremely proud this day. they see this man as a person that modernized the church in argentina and did so with a firm hand. they expect he will do the same right now from the vatican. >> reporter: a sentiment also expressed in miami. >> it's wonderful that we finally have a pope that can represent, you know, a large piece of community, the latinos and, you know, a lot of people who need the support. >> reporter: others voiced hope the new pope can reach out to disenchanted church members here in the united states. >> i'm rehema ellis at st. patrick's cathedral in new york where american catholics are excited, saying they hope the new pope will help repair the church and relate to a younger generation of catholics.
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>> reporter: that's the hope of the pastor of a progressive parish in chicago. >> i think we need some life. i think we need some energy. i think we need some credibility. so that's what i'm hoping for. >> reporter: other american catholics are looking for a new kind of leadership under pope francis i. >> it took such a short time. he wasn't a front runner which is great. that means there is a different kind of blood. a different mentality. >> it means there is change coming. it's a reason for hope. >> reporter: many say they know it will take more than hope for francis to lead the faithful. >> he has so many issues to take care of -- just so many. i'm going to pray a lot for him. >> reporter: great expectations for a new style from this new pope. but it remains to be seen if that will also bring new substance. brian? >> john yang in chicago for us tonight. john, thanks. many of those hoping for the first american pope were hoping it would be cardinal timothy dolan of new york. he just wrapped up a news conference tonight in rome talking about the new pope from latin america. >> can you imagine when pope
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francis goes for world youth day, which may probably be his first international trip in july to brazil? can you imagine the welcome he'll get? a pope from latin america. >> cardinal dolan of new york. a news conference just wrapped up in rome. we are back in a moment with some of the other news of this day including the growing opposition now over the tsa decision to allow knives back on planes.
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a look at some of the other news tonight begins with a scene in louisiana as a huge fire continues to burn at a pipeline in the middle of the bayou. it started last night when a tugboat pushing a barge hit a liquified gas pipeline. smoke was visible 30 miles away in downtown new orleans. this section of the pipeline has been shut down. they are saying it could take tomorrow to burn off what's left. a manhunt in upstate new york tonight for a man suspected of
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killing four people and wounding two others earlier today. happened in two different towns in the mohawk valley where police say the 64-year-old suspect opened fire at a car wash and a barbershop. they say weapons and ammunition were found in his apartment. schools and a community college were locked down. it is not clear what was the motive behind the shootings. the man apparently set fire to his apartment before he went on the rampage. president obama continued his campaign for better relationships on capitol hill today. he met with republicans in the house. according to sources who were in the room, the president learned about the new pope during the meeting and announced word of the white smoke to a round of warm applause. there is as we mentioned a growing backlash from all sides of this commercial aviation industry against the tsa decision to allow passengers to carry certain smaller knives on board planes for the first time since 9/11. the union representing tsa
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screeners has now come out against it. as have the flight attendants. they gave john pistole an earful tonight. they join the ceos of delta, american, u.s. airways and the u.s. air marshalls and coalition of airline pilots. they have all come out in opposition to this. pistole says terrorists remain focused on using explosives to bring down aircraft and this decision, he says, will free up screeners to focus more on searching for explosives. ed asner has been hospitalized with what was described as exhaustion. he's touring in his one-man show. he was appearing last night in gary, indiana. he had to be taken off stage, transported by ambulance to the hospital. ed asner, aka lou grant, is 83 years old. on wall street here in new york today the dow continued its record-breaking winning streak. now nine days in a row. first time that's happened since
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1996. we are back with more from rome and some of the incredible moments you may have missed from this history-making day.
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we are back with another look at what is one of the last remaining truly global spectacles -- the naming of a new pope in st. peter's square. it's one of the things left unchanged in the modern era of social media. it remained a surprise until the very end. the new pope revealed to all of us at once. so here now scenes of the debut of the pope from argentina. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> habemus papum.
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[ cheers and applause ] [ speaking in a foreign language ] [ speaking in a foreign language ] [ bells tolling ] >> from the vatican, ricochetting around the world back here to new york. that is our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. more tomorrow morning on "today." we hope to see you back here tomorrow evening. we hope to see you back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac --
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now. good evening and thanks for joining us on this wednesday. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. catholics across the bay area are cheering the election of the new pope tonight, pope francis i. most are learning about the historic latin american jesuit but catholics have a unique resource. someone knows the pontiff personally. kris sanchez joins us live with more on the pope's local connection and how people here are reacting to him. >> reporter: hi, there, jessica. one of the priests here at santa clara university says he
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recognized the name right away because they spent time together in argentina and considered him a personal friend. he said he was shocked when he heard his friend's name on tv. they spent a few weekz together in the late 80s. a quiet name known for deep prayer, his kindness and commitment to the poor. >> he moved out to a residence and lives in a small apartment there. he takes the subway to work. he would stop and talk to people at the subway. he lived the way he grew up which was an ordinary citizen. >> reporter: now, if he was shocked, this was like watching the sweet 16 here. these students could not believe that a jesuit was chosen to the highest office of the catholic
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church. when they heard pope francis was one of their own they said they knew they would get a jesuit who would be committed to youth and unity and perhaps a new direction for the church. >> i think he will definitely have a connection with the youth and young people. >> having a jesuit pope and someone from south america is really exciting. i'm looking forward to the direction that the catholic church is taking. >> reporter: we are told that it is really not part of the jesuit tradition to aspire to an office like that of the papacy and was told pope francis i reluctantly accepted becoming bishop. father says he understands why they would choose the 76 year old. one of the things that the other priests mentioned here is that he was very impressed by


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